Changes in magmatic assemblages and crystal stability as a response of CO2-flushing in basaltic systems have rarely been directly addressed experimentally, making the role of CO2 in magma dynamics still controversial and object of scientific debate. We conducted a series of experiments to understand the response of magmas from Etna volcano to CO2 flushing. We performed a first experiment at 300 MPa to synthesize a starting material composed of crystals of some hundreds of µm and melt pools. This material is representative of an initial magmatic assemblage composed of plagioclase, clinopyroxene and a water-undersaturated melt with 1.6 wt% H2O. In a second step, the initial assemblage was equilibrated at 300 and 100 MPa with fluids having different XCO 2 fl (CO2/(H2O + CO2)). At low XCO 2 fl (< 0.2 to 0.4), plagioclase is completely dissolved and clinopyroxene show dissolution textures. For relatively high XCO 2 fl (0.9 at 300 MPa), the flushing of a CO2-rich fluid phase leads to an increase of the amount of clinopyroxene and a decrease of the abundance of plagioclase at 300 MPa. This decrease of plagioclase proportion is associated with a change in An content. Our experiments demonstrate that flushing basaltic systems with fluids may drastically affect crystal textures and phase equilibria depending on proportions of H2O and CO2 in the fluid phase. Since texture and crystal proportions are among the most important parameters governing the rheology of magmas, fluid flushing will also influence magma ascent to the Earth’s surface. The experimental results open new perspectives to decipher the textural and compositional record of minerals observed in volcanic rocks from Mt. Etna, and at the same time offer the basis for interpreting the information preserved in minerals from other basaltic volcanoes erupting magmas enriched in CO2.
Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 25, 2017
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